Thousands of air passengers face travel chaos as strikes hit some Ryanair and Air France flights. A minor strike is expected in Helsinki too.
Thousands of airline passengers are facing Easter travel chaos as strike action affect flights operated by both Ryanair and Air France. A minor strike is also expected at Helsinki Airport.
Employees at the two carriers are expected to stage walkouts in disputes over salaries and working conditions.
Starting today, Ryanair cabin crew in Portugal are going ahead with a strike after they accused management of failing to meet their demands. Strikes are set for March 29, April 1 and April 4.
Unions representing pilots, cabin crew and ground staff want the strikes to put pressure on the airline to agree to a 6% pay rise.
Management is offering a basic increase of 1% and a spread of incentives, which unions reject.
The strikes are motivated also by what they say are substandard labour conditions, including disciplinary processes and threats for not reaching in-flight sales targets.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary dismissed the unions’ demands, saying, “We have some jurisdictions where we are getting laughable demands. Frankly we will never agree to those. If we have to take strikes or disruptions in those jurisdictions, then we will take those.”
Tomorrow, Air France flights will be affected as employees strike again in an ongoing dispute over pay. Unions have also announced two more days of strikes, on April 4 and 7.
In a similar walkout last Friday, the airline was forced to axe a quarter of its flights, which left only 70% of its long-haul and 80% of its medium-haul flights in operation.
Air France says that “due to several Air France staff unions’ call for strike on Friday, March 30 our flight schedule will be disrupted. Please note that Air France flights operated by an aircraft other than that of Air France or Joon will not be affected by this strike (HOP!, KLM, Delta…). We now offer rebooking options at no extra cost, no matter the fare.”
And HEL too
Meanwhile, a strike at Helsinki Airport will impact services for passengers requiring assistance on March 31, airport operator Finavia says.
The union Ilmailualan has announced there may be a stoppage, which, if it takes place, will affect passenger services from 05:00 until 08:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00 on that day.
The service for passengers needing assistance will be handled during the stoppage by special arrangements, but Finavia warns there may be congestion in the service and the situation may cause delays to some flights.